. trusting the process .

by Amanda @ .running with spoons. on June 4, 2013

Ever have those days where you have so many thoughts floating around in your head, that the moment you try and attend to one, they all come rushing forward at the same time only to get stuck in the doorway that separates your conscious from your subconscious, consequently leaving you sitting there with a blank look on your face and a little bit of drool dribbling down your chin? That was me for the past couple of days…

Squeezing Through The Door

I started writing this post on Sunday afternoon, gave up trying to finish it on Sunday night, tried again on Monday morning, and finally said “to hell with it” on Monday afternoon and decided to do some gardening instead…

Balcony Flowers

And by “gardening” I mean going out to buy a potted plant, haphazardly stuffing it in my car, and strategically placing it on my balcony, but still… considering it made me feel slightly less homicidal, I can understand why people say that “gardening” is quite therapeutic.

But that’s neither here nor there.

The point is, I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, and trying to get it all out has been a frustrating process to say the least. Yes, part of it has to do with those flowers from the other day, but I’m not quite ready to share the deets on that one just yet – I have to be patient myself, so you can keep me company while I wait. Please keep me company while I wait?

But again – neither here nor there.

What I actually wanted to talk about today has to do with recovery. I feel like I’m in a pretty good place with my recovery. I’m not afraid of food; I’m not addicted to exercise; and I don’t feel like I want to crawl out of my skin. I mean sure, I have my downer days, but even when those nasty thoughts do pop up, they’re more of a back-of-the-mind “itch” rather than an all-consuming focus that goes on to direct my actions.

So, overall, I’d say I’m doing alright on the food and body front. What I am struggling with, however, is life. Or, more specifically, with picking up the pieces of what my eating disorder left of mine.

Broken Pieces

[Source]

I lost a lot more than weight and health thanks to my ED. Friends. Ambitions. Passions. Gone. The ability to laugh. The ability to have fun. The ability to feel. Vanished. What I was left with was a hollow shell of my former self – I became a girl who cared about virtually nothing outside of food and fitness, and catering to the destructive demands of my disorder.

But that’s not the point. The point is that with time and plenty of blood, sweat, and tears, I recovered. My body healed and the destructive thoughts ebbed. Wonderful! Yes. The only problem was… hmm, how can I put this… I guess the best way to describe it is to say that I felt like I had suddenly woken up alone in the middle of an unfamiliar place and I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I felt completely lost…

Feeling Lost

Allow me to explain…

Essentially, I had forgotten how to live a normal life. My eating disorder was the center of my world for so long that I didn’t quite know what to do with myself when it no longer was – there was this big, black void in me that I didn’t know how to fill. And I was alone. My ED hit at one of those awkward transitionary phases of my life… I ended up losing a lot of the friends I had from high school and not really making any new ones throughout all of college – severely isolating oneself tends to have that effect. After all those years, it was just me, myself, and I. Okay, so it wasn’t quite that bad, but you get the idea. I was basically starting my life from scratch when I was already in my late[r] 20’s.

I’m not going to sugar coat it – it sucked hardcore, and there were plenty of times where I questioned the point of recovering in the first place. I mean, of course it was great to have more energy and be rid of all the obsessions, but I just couldn’t stop beating myself up over the fact that I felt so far behind everyone else my age. Sure, I graduated college, had a job, owned my own place, and went about the daily motions, but there was still something missing. My social life was non-existent and, more often than not, it basically felt like I was just trying to get through the day. There were plenty of times where I’d be sitting at home in the evening, just waiting for a decent hour to strike so that I could finally go to sleep and put an end to the day… only to wake up and repeat the entire process again, and again, and again…

And the most frustrating part of all? I wasn’t doing anything about it. There was nothing stopping me from going out there and “living,” as they say, but it was almost like… I didn’t know how? Or I just wasn’t interested? Like I’d resigned myself to the way things were, even though the way things were wasn’t exactly how I wanted them to be. It was kind of a low-point for me.

Sad Puppy

[Source]

Where am I going with all this? To be honest, I have no idea… I’m used to being able to give answers and offer advice, but I’m afraid I don’t quite have any when it comes to my current predicament – I’m still trying to figure it all out myself. Granted, things are a lot better than they used to be, but I can’t help but feel like I’m floating around in some kind of strange limbo. Yes, I have some things to look forward to, but they’ll take time, and the waiting game is driving me in.sane. I already feel like I wasted so much time, so the thought of wasting more is just… ugh.

But I’m trying my best to stay positive, and if I’m being completely honest, that’s usually not all that hard… This is something I want to go into a little more detail about in a future post, but I really do see everything I’ve been through as a blessing in disguise. Sure, it was no walk in the park, but it taught me so much, and I really feel like I’ve come out of it a better and stronger person. Now if only I can keep trusting the rest of the process…

Trust The Process

. – . – . – .

Can anyone relate?
Have you ever gone through a period of “limbo” where you felt like you were just waiting for something to happen? Any advice on how to handle it?
I’m not quite sure if I should be doing something more proactive or just be… ugh… patient.

{ 135 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness June 4, 2013 at 6:16 am

holy… i can 110% relate. when i allow myself to think about how i wasted my early/mid 20s on bad habits, EDs and just being lost- it makes me SO mad at myself. in fact it happened a couple weekends ago and I ended up sobbing about it. however, i truly feel that where i am now in life is exactly where i was meant to be, and if that was the path I had to take in order to get here, then so be it. you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be and you wouldnt be you without all the experiences and decisions (good and bad!) that got you here. if anything, feel proud of yourself for an amazing life thus far :)
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2 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 12:09 pm

“i truly feel that where i am now in life is exactly where i was meant to be” <– that’s actually pretty much exactly how I feel as well. Overall, I really don’t regret what happened… the only time it hits me is when I start playing the comparison game, and we all know there are no winners in that one.

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3 Aimée @Cinnamon Castle June 4, 2013 at 6:22 am

I swear Amanda, I could have written this myself. My eating disorder/depression/anxiety was everything to me from the ages of 8-17, and now that it’s almost not there anymore, I feel empty. I have no friends, no passion, no understanding god what I want in life. Apart from working my jobs at a cafe/supermarket – which I don’t enjoy but do for the money, I sit on the computer and watch TV. I don’t know what I enjoy doing (I always thought it was cooking – LOL that was just the ED). Sometimes I feel like my issues were my ‘identity’, which is a bad thought, and my parents are suddenly so focused on me being ‘independent’ that I sometimes feel like I don’t have them anymore either. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one lost in this crazy world right now xxx
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4 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 12:12 pm

You’re definitely not alone on this one, Aimée… Judging from the comments, tonnes of people seem to feel this way; and if you ever need an ear, don’t hesitate to hit me up :)

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5 Jenny June 4, 2013 at 6:25 am

I can absolutely relate. I’m in a similar phase now, finally feeling a sense of “normality” about food and my body, and now I’m branching out to other areas of my life…trying to remember how to have friends and make plans, for example. It’s something you feel like should come naturally, but then just doesn’t. I’m slowly getting there. The key is not to stop trying. It is a process, and the more you push through the hard times, the easier things will get. And at the end of the day, there’s no “normal”, there’s only the way we choose to live, so don’t worry so much about figuring it all out. Thanks for sharing, and we are in this together :)
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6 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Thanks Jenny :) You’re definitely right that it starts to feel easier over time, but it’s the waiting process that’s just the absolute worst. It helps knowing I’m not alone though.

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7 Lucie June 4, 2013 at 6:31 am

Thank you for this RAW honesty, sweetheart. Listen to yourself. You wrote, that everything you went through, taught you a lot. So it wasn’t a waste AT ALL. I can extremely relate on having the feeling I wasted time, but we don’t. Life is not about partying all the time and I know you know that. What you’ve been through is your story and it made you stronger, and TODAY, WE can be inspired by YOU. This is SO MUCH good. I wasn’t hit that hard by the ED, I always had friends and a social life, but believe me, I was LONELY too. The only advice I can give you, is to be authentic, honest and yourself. And as much as I can see from here, you are doing a brilliant job in this. Look at all these readers and followers – you are a person one wishes to be around. Believe me. And because of that, things will turn out right. Action? Yes – go for everything you wish for. Don’t postpone and don’t procrastinate. Take an adventure, take a risk. All the rest is patience. and all is coming. Promised.
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8 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Gah! Thank you so much love <3 You need to make a detour up to Canada on your trip to the States!

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9 Ashley @ Life and Fitness June 4, 2013 at 6:33 am

I feel like I’m in a transition phase now. After graduating college last month, so many friends are moving away for their jobs. I feel stuck, where I haven’t reached where I want to be yet. I believe being positive will always brin positive results. There is always something to be thankful for!
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10 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Exactly! And things can change in an instant, so we just need to keep ourselves open and not be afraid of that change :)

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11 Heather @fitncookies June 4, 2013 at 6:37 am

I think being patient is the best thing you can do right now. I don’t have the exact story like you do, but I have felt in limbo. When I would try to do things, it wasn’t the right time, and it never helped, but instead hurt more. I applaud you for writing this and sharing your struggles still. Many people think that with any disorder or addiction, once you beat that one aspect, you are fine, but there is SO much more to it, exactly what you expressed.
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12 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Definitely not. And the most frustrating thing about it is that everything looks fine on the outside, but that’s not always the case on the the inside…

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13 Lisa June 4, 2013 at 6:37 am

Wow Amanda. Amazing, honest, personal post. It’s really admirable that you’d write about this. Lately (as we kind of discussed) I’ve been thinking a lot about my recovery and how it was such a bad place in my lift, but kind of a blessing in disguise at the same time. You’re right, it sucked. It took almost everything from me in my life as well.
Everything we both went through, taught us so much about life, ourselves, and others. In a way, it’s matured us a lot and made us really aware, which can be a blessing.
I look at you now, and think of you as so admirable and an inspiration to me and that’s what your blog is to many other.
Love you friend!<3
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14 Lisa June 4, 2013 at 6:39 am

Oh and I also meant to write, I also kind of feel like I’m in a similar limbo place, and I know what you mean that it can be frustrating. Just being honest about what’s happening is a big step and being patient. It’s so hard because recovering is a slowwww process. Slower than most people would like. So I can definitely relate to that feeling of limbo.
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15 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Awwr thanks love <3 Right back at ya :) It’s definitely hard to ignore all the good that came out of this, but it’s having to be patient and hoping that I’m actually going in the right direction that’s proving to be difficult. I guess that’s just true of life in general, though… we never really knowfor sure – we can only do our best.

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16 sarah June 4, 2013 at 6:38 am

This is why I love your blog-it’s so real! My eating disorder started in 8th grade and I went inpatient at the end of 9th grade. I switched to a new school to start off 10th grade. I’m a junior now and 17 years old and my life has made a total 360. It was a slow process, being comfortable getting social again. I was still focused on what I’d be eating and what people might think of me. I can honestly say though at the start of my junior year I just had like an epiphany. A family crisis made me see that it’s just not worth it. My confidence is through the roof now, at school I’m now known for being slightly obnoxious, fun and spontaneous. I go out with friends all the time, I have a boyfriend who adores me, and I love my life. It’s not all wonderful, and I absolutely have my bad days. Even 2 years since I started treatment I’m not exactly where I’m supposed to be weight wise, but I get closer and closer everyday. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I totally relate and one day you’ll wake up and be like “F it, this is my life and I want to make the most of it.” Focus on yourself, do what is right for you, and get out of your comfort zone every now and then-you won’t regret it. I had a therapist in the early days of my ED who really hit the nail on the head, and I’m just starting to understand what she meant… she told me “Just try recovery, just try doing things differently. If you don’t like it you know you are very good at listening and acting on your ED so you can always fall back on it.” Now I get it-once you taste freedom ( no pun intended ;]) you know there is no way in hell you could ever go back, life is just too precious.

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17 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 12:29 pm

That’s such an inspiring story, Sarah… thanks for sharing :) You’re right that getting a taste of the freedom that comes with recovery is totally addicting. I honestly couldn’t imagine ever going back to the way things were… it’s just figuring out what to do with all the freedom that’s proving tricky ;)

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18 Ashley @ OurPersonalRecords June 4, 2013 at 6:46 am

I think this is not only a problem for people recovering from an ED, but something that we go through in our mid-late twenties. It’s almost weekly that I think, “what am I doing with my life?” After college I lost some old friends when I decided that I would not continue relationships with people who were not supportive of me, and who did not make me feel good about myself. I’ve made new friends, and strengthened other friendships. It’s an ongoing process. I think it’s completely normal to feel the way you described. The best remedy during these times is to spend time doing your hobbies, or try some new things! I really, really like this TED talk about the topic:

http://www.ted.com/talks/meg_jay_why_30_is_not_the_new_20.html
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19 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Thanks Ashley! I’ll check that out.

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20 Jenni June 4, 2013 at 6:53 am

I think a lot of people go through a similar experience of feeling alone and not really having any motivation. Have you looked at meetup.com to find out what’s going on in your local area? Might be a good way to find some people you have common interests with.
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21 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 12:35 pm

I haven’t! But I just looked through it and there are actually some pretty interesting groups. Thanks for the link, Jenni!

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22 Caitlin June 4, 2013 at 7:03 am

I feel very similarly, love. Honestly, you just voiced a lot of what’s been going through my head the past few months. I kind of feel like I’m drifting,..I don’t know what i want to do with my life at all. I have a few friends but never made a ton in college thanks to everything that goes along with an ed and most of the ones I did moved away. I lost track of the number of times i went to bed between 8-9 because i had nothing to do. It’s getting better (having Joe home helps with that obviously), but I’m still trying to figure out where I’m going without driving myself crazy ha. All i can do right now is take it one day at a time and do my best to make the most of every opportunity i come across, but it’s definitely rough at times, hearing so many other people working towards something or pursuing a passion and I’m not. I know i have plenty of time to figure it out, and I usually am content with where i am, but i definitely have periods where i struggle with this too. Always here if you need/want to vent love!
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23 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 12:37 pm

I can definitely relate to being content but then getting hit with periods of “woe is me.” I think lot of it comes down to comparison, honestly. If I don’t look at what others are doing, then I feel a lot better, but as soon as I start playing the comparison game, everything comes undone.

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24 Caitlin June 4, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I think that’s an excellent point, girl. Comparison rarely if ever turns out well, and it’s definitely something I need to watch!
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25 SD June 4, 2013 at 7:10 am

My gosh me Amanda!! This entire post is me to a T. Its like the contents of brain written out! I am going through this exact thing only I haven’t yet gotten past all my food/body issues as yet. But the whole social aspect..the way I seem to have no real desire to start relationships :( .. I had no idea that you felt the way you do. Stay strong, I’m sure it’ll work out. Sending hugs your way :)

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26 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Thanks girl :) Sending hugs right back.

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27 Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen June 4, 2013 at 7:14 am

Oh my gosh, I swear I could have written this post – I can relate to all of it! I thought life would be all rainbows and butterflies after I recovered, but it’s not. The ED sucked my life out of me and I’m still trying to get it back – and having a hard time of it. I was never the type of person to have a lot of friends, so I’m okay with my small group of closer friends. But the way I act in social situations isn’t the same as it used to be. I’m not that fun, spontaneous, care free girl I used to be and I don’t know how to get her back. I wish I had some advice for you girl but it looks like I’m stuck in the same boat as you. If you ever want to talk, shoot me an email. :)
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28 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 12:39 pm

I think I may just have to hit you up on that offer very soon :)

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29 Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen June 5, 2013 at 9:28 am

Okay! I would love to chat with you. :)
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30 Debbie (Accidently Delish) June 4, 2013 at 7:18 am

i can totally relate. when i was deep in my ED one of the most important things it took from me was my relationship with my fiance. well, it took it completely away. he took my ring back. told me i needed to get better. told me he didn’t know me anymore. we are now in the process of getting to know each other again. it seems ridiculous to me because we’ve been together for 7 years! how can we not know each other. but after my eating disorder we are both two totally different people. it’s so frustrating, but it’s also a great experience to find out who I REALLY am without the ED and I feel like I am a better person now. its frustrating to not know who you are though and have to re-learn to live WITHOUT the eating disorder. when you have one for so long you don’t even know yourself without one. but i always try to think of what the eating disorder gave me and my identity and i can’t come up with one single positive thing. so i am trying to embrace finding out who i am, and it’s going to be a long process, but one i think we all need to do.

so good luck finding yourself again, and maybe gardening isnt your thing, but find out what is. and i highly suggest being more social, meeting new people, or maybe reconnecting with old friends. friends who can remind you who you were and the happy fun person you use to be. she’s still in there :)
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31 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Thanks girl :) It’s definitely been a long process, made even more frustrating by the fact that some of the changes are probably just the natural result of getting older… and it gets a little hard to figure out whether something is an ED thing or just a growing up thing.

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32 Khushboo June 4, 2013 at 7:34 am

More than any words I’m sending a big hug your way, Amanda! I definitely can relate about waiting for things to happen or accepting that this is the way life will always be. For a handful of birthdays, I remember looking back and seeing no difference to the year before. Although I am not where I imagined to be at 25 (i.e. engaged/married), I can finally look back at the year and see a positive change…i finally feel like my life is coming together the way it should and honestly the only advice I can give is: “If you want to see a change, you have to make a change”. It’s daunting as hell but as you know from recovery itself, each step where you put yourself out of your comfort zone is one getting you an inch closer to a better place.
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33 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 12:44 pm

You’re right about that one, Khushboo… and I’m so happy to hear that you’ve been seeing those positive changes in your own life. You know I’ve already taken a couple leaps of faith ;) so hopefully those get me somewhere good!

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34 Carly @ Snack Therapy June 4, 2013 at 7:35 am

I can totally relate. When I first came to college, I had a really hard time adjusting to the fact that, unlike high school, I didn’t have dozens of friends to call to hang out at a moment’s notice. It wasn’t related to my eating issues at all, but socializing can be HARD no matter what. I think lots of life periods, especially in your 20s, feel like limbo. I’ve been trying to embrace this. Also? The book MWF Seeking BFF helped me realize that a lot of my issues with making a big group of friends were totally normal, plus it’s a super hilarious book. Xoxoxoxoxo, amazing post (as always).

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35 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Huh. I never really considered the fact that socializing might just be difficult overall… I always assumed it was just me :lol: Thanks girl; I’ll definitely check out that book!

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36 Ashley @ Eat Run Live Happy June 4, 2013 at 7:36 am

I can relate 100%. My story is a little different though. I also lost all my friends and clung on anyone who “loved me” and I ended up married at 19 and having a baby at 20. Both because I wanted to be loved. (Not the right reason) Now that I’m recovered and divorced I have times where I do feel lost. I don’t have a career, I don’t have the freedom to travel or do anything because of the kids. I’m learning that I can still live, I can still have goals and I can still dream big. Sometimes I panic and think OMG I’m already 25 and I work part time at a gym for minimum wage how am I going to move up when I don’t have a baby sitter, education, ect. In all honestly my blog is what keeps me going. I look at it as my “dream maker” and I truly believe that positive things will come from it. (I wrote a post about beauty box buddies I’m starting, II emailed you about.)
ED recovery is hard and that was a big mental block I had to deal with… the question of “What can I focus on now?” I think that’s a big reason I decided to train for a marathon too. It gives me something to think about, something to work towards. I also sat down and made a list of everything I wanted to do in life. Right now, I’m working on hanging out with friends more but it’s hard, especially with kids. I could go on and on but I think this comment is long enough!
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37 Brooke June 4, 2013 at 9:16 am

Ashley,
I read your comment and had to reply. I suffered from both an ED and acute panic disorder. I got married at 21 which turned out to be a pretty awful decision. I was told that no one would want someone “like me”, so I stayed because I believed that. It was after my son was born (I was 23) that things started to click for me. He was proof someone else could love me for me, panic attacks and all. My marriage ended at 25, but through it all I’ve become stronger. I’m still working on recovering from both and sometimes feel likes “So this is what 29 looks like?”…. Like you I get that feeling in my gut of, “Oh gosh where do I go from here and how do I get there?” I am going to tell you what I tell myself everyday sometimes several times: You can do absolutely whatever you want to do and the first step is believing that you can. You can rock the socks off this life and make it exactly what you want. Embrace your dreams, work towards those dreams and don’t let fear be a roadblock. You got this! Good luck training for your marathon. I look forward to hearing how it goes. I’m training for a 5k, maybe a marathon one day in the very distant future.

B
http://smilingrunningshoes.blogspot.com/
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38 Ashley @ Eat Run Live Happy June 4, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Thank you for your reply! We sound so much alike! I have gotten the comment before.. You have two kids, no one wants someone with two kids. It’s definitely not true. I’m getting stronger and stronger everyday!
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39 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Honestly, I was thinking about challenging myself with something fitness related as well, but at the same time I’m afraid to start relying on anything food/exercise related because that was the beginning of the downward spiral for me in the past. And you e-mailed me? Ack! I don’t think I got it?!

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40 Ashley @ Eat Run Live Happy June 4, 2013 at 2:06 pm

It’s a very touchy situation when it comes to ed recovery and working out. I will admit I went a little nutzo a couple months ago, working out for 2 hours a day, not being able to get off the couch after. I’m balanced now. I do my run or whatever is planned and I’m done. I have a rest day and if I don’t get my run in for some reason, it’s OKAY. And yeah I emailed you lol. About my new project Beauty Box Buddies. It’s like foodie pen pals but I want to do it with unique beauty and fashion finds. from thrift shops, great deals, or handmade. All the info is on my blog if you’re interested :)
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41 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 3:26 pm

I don’t think I ever got your letter… I even checked my junk mail, and nothing :( I’ll definitely be checking it out, though! You know I’m a serious beauty junkie ;)

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42 Beth @ Mangoes and Miles June 4, 2013 at 8:07 am

I can SO relate. My eating disorder and ensuing depression forced me to transfer high schools right before senior year, and then I went off to college, so I’ve kind of been in a state of transition for a while now. There are times where I feel so utterly alone, even now, after I’ve established kind of my place at school. I have a solid group of friends, but sometimes…I don’t know. It’s just kind of, like you said, an empty feeling. I don’t really know how to deal with it, either. I guess I’m just trying to live and do my best at life and see what happens.

I can’t wait to find out what those flowers are about! I’ll wait with you. ;) <3
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43 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Sometimes waiting it out is really the only thing we can do. One thing I keep telling myself is that life can change in a flash. You can meet someone, try something new, come up with a new idea, etc. and everything can take a whole new turn. It’s just about being patient.. unfortunately :?

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44 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers June 4, 2013 at 8:19 am

Oh yes, waiting is the worst! Hang in there. You’ve got a lotta’ good stuff going for you, and everything will start working together soon enough. I’m sorry you’re in this holding period. Hugs!
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45 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Thanks Tiff <3

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46 Sarah Pie June 4, 2013 at 8:25 am

I was stuck in a similiar sort of limbo last year between graduation and being accepted to graduate school. By the time I graduated I had been rejected from all but one program and it wasn’t looking good for getting into the one waitlist I was on. Instead of enjoying the last few weeks of the semester with my friends/BF I was moping around my apartment in a panic, applying for jobs (that I didn’t want) like crazy trying to get some feeling of CONTROL back into my life.

It was a mess. I was a mess, and as much as I wish I had had faith in the process at the time I didn’t. And in the end I lost out on that time, those memories and experiences with my friends that left 3 years of friendship on a sour note. It sucked and I still carry the regret of what I lost even now that things have worked out…

Excited to see what’s up with those flowers of yours :)
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47 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles June 4, 2013 at 8:39 am

This is (yet another) moment where I wish Edmonton wasn’t several provinces over, because I really just want to give you a massive hug right now. I feel like you took the words out of my head with this one. The majority of my ED occurred throughout my undergrad – the time in your life when you’re supposed to be having fun, making friends, drinking too much, staying out all night…and I didn’t do any of that. I felt like I couldn’t do any of that. I isolated myself so much – I was excited for weekends because it meant that I didn’t have to leave my house. I didn’t make friends, and I didn’t really talk to most of the ones I had.
When I started recovery, I thought that suddenly, my social life would pick up and life would be wonderful. But it doesn’t work out that way…and I’m legitimately angry at myself that I wouldn’t allow myself to have ‘the college experience’ and feeling like it was such a wasted opportunity. Some friendships are irreparable, and then there’s the opportunities that I’ll never have again with people I went to school with. It is depressing. While I know I learned so much and wouldn’t be where I am with my relationship with food and with my body without the ED, I can’t help but wonder where I would have been if I had never gotten to that point.
And then of course, there’s the being in an MA program and having no idea what I’m going to do with myself when it’s over. I definitely suffer from the ‘drifting’ problem – I’m not sure what I want to do with it or with my life in general, and that unsettles me. Bah.

And of course, I will be waiting with you! <3
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48 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 1:01 pm

You’ll owe me that hug in September ;) And those “what if” thoughts used to KILL me, but there’s really no sense beating yourself up over the things you can’t change. I’m starting to get the feeling that most people struggle with that drifting feeling, we just can’t see it. Like if you hadn’t just told me, I would have had NO idea you were kind of going through the same thing. So I guess it’s kind of comforting to know we’re not in it alone.

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49 Brittany June 4, 2013 at 8:41 am

Umm you are inside of my head. I JUST wrote a draft post similar to this (not related to an ED, but my own struggles about feeling like my life is behind and similar to everything you are going through) I am not sure when I will be ready to publish it, but it’s there whenever I am ready! It did feel good to put my thoughts onto paper though (or well..online paper.) You’ve mentioned religion briefly on your blog before, but I’m not sure quite how religious you are. What’s been helping me is letting go of the things I cannot control and putting my trust into God 100%. Every day feels numb right now, but I know things will get better.

I’m not sure how long you’ve been struggling with these feelings, but I do think if you want some new friends and starting to build that social life you should put yourself out there (challenging FOR SURE, but part of what will make you stronger) join a group, join a volunteering place, join something that you can around your area that will introduce you to people. I think patience is key, but somethings you do have to get out there and do yourself with a little push and a little faith!! I loveee you, and I hope things start turning around (for both of us) and things start looking a little bit clearer!
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50 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 1:06 pm

I’m pretty sure that putting my faith in God is one of the main reasons that I’m still sane :lol: Knowing that He has a plan for me definitely helps. And you’re right… I really need to push myself to get out there more – it’s just a lot harder when you’ve kind of become complacent with the way things are :?

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51 Miss Polkadot June 4, 2013 at 8:58 am

Once again I feel like you’ve taken a look into my head and found just the right words to accurately describe the struggle I’m in. Thank you! It’s something that’s been on my mind for ages – at times even more than food, exercise, … As you asked whether we could relate? Yes, I absolutely can. Not knowing what will be left once I’ve let loose of my ED, unsure where my life might lead me, how to live it in a “normal” way. That all might sound ridiculous to somebody who never struggled with an ED or dealt with similar thoughts. How some people can just go about their lives and trust in things falling into place makes me feel – dare I say it? – kind of jealous.
Thinking about what a huge part of my lifetime so far I spent absorbed in disordered thoughts and living a life that wasn’t your “normal” teen/young adult’s makes me feel out of place. So many chances I missed, so many opportunities I didn’t take or weren’t able to – will I ever be able to make up for them, catch up on life? It’s a constant worry for me.
Regarding the “limbo” you’re mentioning: what I’d meant to do – somebody please remind me daily to actually put these plans into action, sigh … – is look for new activies to try. Joining a book club (didn’t work for me as there don’t seem to be any official ones around), get engaged with a political or other group, … So yes, I’d guess being proactive seens like a good way to me. Though you don’t seem to do pretty well already what with cooking with friends, going out to meet others and else so don’t stress yourself to much. You’re awesome, Amanda <3!
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52 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 1:10 pm

It’s definitely hard to look at others who seem to have everything together, but I think that everyone struggles with feeling lost… they might just not show it as much. And girl, I can’t even begin to tell you how long I’ve been planning to get out there and get involved in some kind of group or community. I need a serious kick in the butt myself…

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53 Jo @ Living Mint Green June 4, 2013 at 9:10 am

Um, yes. I can definitely relate. My “problem” is that over the past few years, I’ve outgrown a lot of my HS friendships, and have been experiencing some negativity from friends who are unhappy & stuck in their old ways and assume I’m being a snob because I don’t hang out with them anymore. I feel like I’m headed in a healthy, positive direction – one that feels right to me, and people who used to be my best friends make me feel negative/drained when I’m around them. So, yeah, I totally relate to feeling isolated & alone at times.

I get anxious about not knowing what I “should” do or what my purpose is/should be. Basically, I just need to get out of my head & chill out. Hahaha. It’s hard though, especially for a “type A” personality like myself – I just want to get shit done – NOW! Like, yesterday!
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54 Lauren June 4, 2013 at 9:17 am

I am sort of in this period right now. I have lost everything during this eating process and missed making friends in college thanks to isolating myself. A lot of my high school friends have moved away or found lives for themselves while I was trying to just live with myself and exercise. Also, my whole knee fiasco is not helping in this matter, but it isn’t the only excuse for completely losing myself. I told my mom the other day, I just count down the hours until I can go to bed because I’m just bored and alone the entire day. Thankfully, I have Elmo or I’d probably be in a rough place… If here at all. It’s amazing how much I left behind to just be THIN. Ugh, what the hell. It just makes me mad to even think about it. All I could say for advice is what I believe recovery is… Baby steps. And I have a feeling you’re in the right direction since flowers are becoming a part of your life ;-)
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55 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 1:15 pm

It’s funny. I keep telling people that recovery is all about taking baby steps, and then I go ahead and forget that when it comes to looking at how I’m doing myself. Thanks for the reminder, girl <3

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56 Danielle @ Clean Food Creative Fitness June 4, 2013 at 9:31 am

I struggled with this too but the further I got away from my eating disorder the easier it was to rebuild my life again. I would definitely suggest adding some more fun and friends in your life. It makes all the difference!
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57 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Definitely been trying to do that. It’s just a lot harder to make friends when you’re not in school and everyone seems to be married with kids :lol:

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58 Heather Williams June 4, 2013 at 9:34 am

I cried when I read this because I did the exact same thing that you did. I’m now 28 years old and recovery just plain out sucked. I was left with the biggest black hole I could have ever imagined. As ridiculous as it sounds, I miss my ED sometimes because it at least kept my mind off what else I don’t have anymore. I lost all my friends after high school, my parents divorced, and my boyfriend left me all at the same time I moved to college. I haven’t been the same since. I got over it, past it, moved on, and went through 10 years of depression,an ED and recovery, but after all of that, I’m still left feeling like a mess inside the day I lost all of those important people. I never moved on. I moved to ED. Sure, I have a job now, but my ED stole my financial life as well, leading me to spend all of my money on that, and now I’m still living at home at age 28. I hate where I’m at in life and so want to be married, have a place of my own and be free of the hole that my ED left. This is such a terrible thing no one ever tells you about recovery. I wish we could meet .. I know that sounds creepy, but your story sounds so similar to mine, it would be nice to have someone to chat with. I write about my disorder on my blog alot and that helps pull some of the void out of me. Like you, I watch the hours of the day go by, just so it can get to the point where it’s time to go to bed at night and forget about things. I know this isn’t a way to live, but no matter how much I try to move on, I feel stuck. Thank you for writing this. It really made me feel a little less crazy:)
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59 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 1:18 pm

You’re definitely not crazy, Heather – judging by the comments, a lot of people struggle with this sort of thing. And we may not be able to meet, but if you ever need an ear, don’t hesitate to shoot me an e-mail :)

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60 Sarah @PickyRunner June 4, 2013 at 9:43 am

Oh my GOSH did I need to see this post today. I am in the same place as you. I’m okay with food right now, I’m alright with taking days off exercise, and I’m happy enough with myself. But there’s something that’s missing still. Socially, I still struggle day to day with the exact things you’re talking about. I don’t let people close to me, I’m terrible about making (or keeping) plans, and I just feel lost a lot of the time. I spend so much time by myself since that’s what I did in the depths of my disorder. There’s something that honestly scares me about making plans with people. I don’t know why but I know it started when I developed my eating disorder. I used to be such a fun-loving person and now relaxing is next to impossible to me, which is why I picked up yoga. Basically, I totally get you and I really hope that one day we can find that life again we once had, even if it’s a different one than we used to live.
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61 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Maybe it could be that making plans with others prevents you from sticking to your routine and doing things your way? I know that was definitely part of it for me. I’d gotten so used to doing things a certain way and at a certain time, that deviating from that just felt all sorts of uncomfortable.

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62 Katie @ KatieEnPursuit June 4, 2013 at 9:48 am

You do such a phenomenal job of expressing yourself & that has got to be hugely helpful for you & for others. I can relate as I tend to get in my own head way TOO much & exhaust myself with the “What If’s???” I vote for the being proactive with a hint of patience. We need to have that forward momentum & when we have that so many other good things will come!
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63 Ari @ The Pace of it All June 4, 2013 at 9:50 am

Sending you hugs, friend… but I feel like I have to say that even though it sucked what you went through (and it does, no question) you did a great job of pulling yourself out and your life right now ain’t too shabby. And things will get better, I have to believe that…
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64 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Awwwr thanks Ari :) Sending you hugs right back… and good vibes with your Oregon plans!!

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65 Nicole @ FruitnFitness June 4, 2013 at 10:07 am

I haven’t struggled with eating disorders but I do feel like the past few years have been hard with friends moving away, getting jobs, getting married and when you get busy it’s harder to keep in contact with close friends.
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66 Hollie June 4, 2013 at 10:08 am

I thought my comment had posted but clearly not…thank you computer. I’m in a limbo right now and I fully admit that. I have absolutely no idea where I will be in the fall (something I haven’t really said a lot via blogging/media at all) and it’s all that consumes my mind. When I went to upstate NY, I lost a lot of friends because we grew apart…now I’m back living at home and still don’t have a lot of friends. I don’t know, you thanked me for my honesty but your honesty is always incredible and so relateable as well.
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67 kaity @ kaityscooking June 4, 2013 at 10:13 am

I can relate to this so much and am glad you wrote it to get it off your chest.. i was stuck in this for about 2 years where i had little to no friends because I wanted nothing to do with people because that interrupted my workout or eating schedule. I was not fun to be around and didn’t want to ever do anything spontaneous. I met a couple of friends in school and after so long and being in recovery already they seemed to pull me out of the slump. After I met them i got my confidence back and saw wow people still want to become my friends.. It’s hard putting yourself out there and get back into “life” but i think you are doing great just from this blog alone, you will def get there I got full confidence
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68 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Thanks Kaity :) And of course people want to become your friend! You’re freaking fabulous :P

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69 meredith June 4, 2013 at 10:15 am

I can relate in that I got married at 23, had a wonderful husband, house and a baby by 25, living the American Dream and suddenly going through a divorce process at my 30th birthday. As I turn 35 tomorrow, I can 100 % relate because over the last 5 years, I have gone from that feeling of what now, who am I, where do I belong, how do I start over, what do I do, with who and how and when…it has taken time to get to where I am now. And I like where I am now. Not where I thought I would be at 35, but you know, I will 100% take it! You will get to where you are meant to be. You don’t need to know what where how or when, you will just arrive there, all while going through the motions. I promise. Keep up the good work!
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70 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Thank you, Meredith :) I’m kind of coming to realize that things never quite work out the way we plan, but that that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You’re right… I’m not exactly where I thought I would be at this point in my life, but honestly… I can’t really complain. It almost feels like we just have to learn how to make the most of what comes our way.

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71 Liz @ The Girl on Fire Now June 4, 2013 at 10:25 am

I can relate, and I really hope that things get better for you. I’m not trying to get too personal here, but are you a Christian/a religious person? Email me if you want to talk
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72 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 1:34 pm

I am Christian, yes. Actually, I’m pretty sure that faith and prayer are a big part of the reason why I am where I am today.

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73 Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen June 4, 2013 at 10:28 am

I can totally relate with you on the waiting game. Also you sound a lot like me-positive but uncomfortable with the present. It’s a strange place to be but I use distraction and healthy things like hanging with friends and running to get me through it. Sometimes though, there isn’t an answer and we just have to wait. :/ Hope the pretty flowers are keeping you happy though!
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74 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 1:34 pm

They’re definitely helping :)

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75 Chelsie S June 4, 2013 at 10:37 am

Can anyone relate? You don’t even need to ask. I think that EVERY SINGLE SOUL in recovery has felt this way but has not been able to express it. Some to different degrees than others. But everyone, without exception.

But to read these words and know for sure that I am not alone, that you are not alone, that none of us are alone in these feelings. Well, it isn’t a comforting thought, per se, but it puts an end to some loneliness. Like feeling like you’re standing in the middle of a dark forest alone with nothing but a candle, and then turning a corner and realizing that there are so many others with candles, ready to join up with one another and illuminate the night.

The question is, what do we do about it? Where do we go from here? The answers are different for everyone, but I sincerely hope that by reading these words, many will acknowledge these feelings within themselves (as I know I have) and will go forward trying to not let any more moments slip away. You’re right, no matter if we’ve lost one moment or one million to isolation and insecurity, it is far too many, and we should do our best to make the most of every second from here on forward.

Thank you. Once again, I have NO idea where I would be without you. <3

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76 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Knowing how strong you are? You would be fine. I just help make the journey a little less lonely <3 <3

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77 morgan June 4, 2013 at 10:43 am

I have struggled with being in & out of Limbo-land for the past ten years or so. No ED but I am pretty OCD & ADD so when I find something I enjoy, its all or nothing! Which is hard on relationships, with either sex or at any age. I have found that finding a few quality hobies that I enjoy & setting small, obtainable goals really has helped me a lot! It sounds silly but I book time for myself for reading blogs, pinterest & general relaxing, along with my obsessive fitness class teaching & meal prep. Living in the north, I know that the dark seasonal weather REALLY affects me & about two years ago, for Valentines Day, my hubs bought me a SAD light. I swear it changed my life! Its just a cheap amazon special but it sits on my vanity & when I do my hair & make up in the morning, its on & it starts my day off with sunny vitamins. Sometimes the best way to get out of limbo is to do something new, differnt & totally unlike you- Karaoke??!! no JK but something will change, I know it! The waiting is the hardest part….we out here in (creeper) blog land are all rooting for you!

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78 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Thanks Morgan :) I was actually thinking about getting one of those SAD lights for the winter, since that’s definitely the time where I seem to sink further into a funk. And karaoke actually sounds like it would be a really fun idea ;)

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79 Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health June 4, 2013 at 11:00 am

I love that you are able to express yourself so honestly and that so many of us can relate to you. I find myself feeling “behind” everyone else all of the time. I’m going to be 29 in a few months and I’m not married, I don’t own a home, I don’t have a baby and I barely have anything in my savings. But then I remind myself that I love my life and I am so very grateful for the wonderful people in it. And if we can’t look perfect, eat perfect, and be at the “perfect” stage of life all of the time, then it is more important to be happy with ourselves and to cherish our health because you never know when it will be taken away!
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80 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 1:47 pm

It’s hard, isn’t it? When everyone else seems to be getting married and having kids? I talk to people I knew from high school who are “all grown up,” and it almost feels surreal. It’s like… when did that happen?!

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81 Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat June 4, 2013 at 11:11 am

After reading your post, I had to stop and process your question for some time before I could comment, as it really hit home for me. Have I ever been in a state of limbo? Well…my initial reaction was…not really (at least nothing relating to anything significant in my life ), but then it hit me…I’ve been in a state of limbo now and have been for close to 2 years. I can’t believe I never really thought of it in that way before or maybe it’s more like I just push it out of mind (or at least I try to).

I don’t wish to discuss the subject of my limbo at this time, but I will say that it’s downright difficult. I try occupying my mind, but sometimes it just creeps up on me and I do have moments of anger, sadness and disgust. The way which I’ve been able to cope with these feeling is talking to my mom and dad and my husband about it. They’re good listeners and reinforce to me that it’s going to be okay. Also, my new found love for Zumba and blogging have benn the biggest outlets to relieve these feelings.

So Amanda, I’d like to say to you (as I’ve been reminded by those I love) that it’s going to be okay and to remind you that you’re strong — look at what you’ve accomplished so far. Be patient (trust me…I know it’s hard), but try to find an outlet to relieve those emotions. That is the way I’m getting through my state of limbo. The tough days will pass and better days will come.
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82 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Thank you Holly, both for your advice and opening up a little. Big hugs to you, and I hope that your limbo ends soon as well <3

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83 Kim hoeltje June 4, 2013 at 11:22 am

Sadly i can totally relate. I am in a much better place now in my recovery, but my life is still feeling the after effects. I too isolated big time in college and pretty much wasted my college years at the gym or in the bathrokm! Ugh! I missed out on making life long friends. I have lost interest in some of the things i used to enjoy. I dont really know what i enjoy these days. But stick woth it! You have your health and it will take time!! You are so not alone!

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84 andrea June 4, 2013 at 11:33 am

I can also completely relate. I lost my high school and early universities years due to my eating disorder addiction and socially I think I have the grace of a ten year old. But I do believe that life is just moving forward and like you said, we have to “trust the process”.
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85 Julianne @ LifeOffLeash June 4, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Came across your blog a couple of months ago and really enjoy it. You have a great style and you write with such passion. Thanks for always sharing!

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86 Katherine June 4, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Oh Amanda, this post was just so beautiful. I just love your honesty and willingness to share your inner most feelings with your bloggers. I’ve not been through what you went through, but your bravery and faith are so commendable. It’s so inspiring to meet a woman so full of fight and trust. The process seems horrid and difficult, but I know you will come out stronger and full of motivation to help yourself and others. I’m sending you big hugs and know that all of your blogging friends (and ones outside of the internet :) ) are 100% supportive and behind you. We love you and everything you bring to this world, with or without the struggles! :)
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87 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Aww Katherine, thank you so much. Your comment honestly brought the biggest smile to my face. Thank you :)

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88 Alyssa @ Road to RD June 4, 2013 at 1:27 pm

I know just how you feel! My days often consist of waiting for meals and waiting to go to bed. I’ve been on vacation for over a week now, and I still can’t seem to enjoy it the way “normal” people should, because I’m too worried about feeling “fat”. I’m not enjoying going out to dinner the way I should, and find myself freaking out because the foods I’m served are not what I would choose at home. But I will take your advice to try and stay positive.
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89 Maddy June 4, 2013 at 2:32 pm

This post is another example of why this has been my most-visited blog for the past year. I love the honesty, and you describe that feeling perfectly. I can definitely relate. My eating disorder came at an inopportune time as well, at a time when I should have been making friends, having fun and discovering my passions instead of whittling away all my time on exercise and healthy eating. Luckily, from my experience, it’s never to late, no matter how much time was wasted. Because (at risk of sounding sappy, sorry!), if you think about it, the time wasn’t really wasted. No matter how hard those times were, like you said they taught you a lot.
On another note, you have me super curious about whatever thing you can’t write about yet!! It sounds really exciting. :))

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90 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 3:29 pm

That’s a beautiful realization, isn’t it? That it’s never too late :) I think one of the most important things is to forgive yourself and let go of what happened, because constantly beating yourself up over “wasted” time is just more wasted time…

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91 Shira June 4, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Oh I think this is something many people go through in our late 20’s, especially! I’ve certainly gone through losing a lot of friends (for the better, but still, hurtful) and am totally in career limbo.. I do think it is so important to do different things to get different results. Something I notice reading blogs, mostly by those recovered from eating disorders/exercise obsession etc is that they only ever ‘go out of their comfort zone’ or set goals to do with food or fitness. Like, for ex. taking up yoga is great, sure, and you may grow as a person from it.. but it’s not going to change your life, your day-to-day, your situation. I think it’s important to be honest with ourselves, and hit the nail on the head (so to speak).. if you need to get out more, make friend dates to socialize, reconnect with old acquaintances, meet their circle of friends etc. Join a book club, a cooking class, a church group, whatever. And meeting people for dating, tough for everyone, but again, going out, being social, sharing with friends and family that you’re looking because you never know who they know. I’ve heard many times that your “weak ties” the people you don’t know very well, are your best resources, because they are connected to the most people that You aren’t.. for career, love and life ;) Good luck girl! Great, honest and heartfelt post.

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92 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 3:34 pm

You’re definitely right, Shira! I’ve spent a lot of time working on repairing the food and exercise aspects of my ED, but the social one is something that I’ve still been neglecting. I’ve been meaning to join some kind of group or class -forever- now, but I just keep putting it off and I don’t even know why. Ugh. I need a good kick in the pants…

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93 Meghan @ After the Ivy League June 4, 2013 at 3:52 pm

I can definitely relate to that feeling of limbo. For different reasons, but I found myself in a somewhat similar predicament after graduating college. I moved back home, where I only had maybe 1 or 2 friends from HS that I still kept in touch with, and was leaving all of my friends from college. Trying to find an apartment and a place to live, I didn’t know anyone who wanted to live in the city with me. So I took a leap of faith and just looked for rooms on craigslist, moved in with a couple guys, and let things happen. After several months, they moved out, and I listed the rooms which is how I met Andrea. People crack up when they find out we met on craigslist! I realized the other day that every person I ran that race with this weekend, I’d only known for less than a year, maybe a little over a year at most. Things will eventually fall into place, don’t worry! As far as being proactive though, I would recommend that. I never was, but Andrea was. She suggested we meet for coffee since we were both young and living in the same city, looking for a place. I said sure why not, and the rest is history!

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94 Ellie@Fit for the soul June 4, 2013 at 4:12 pm

What a powerful collection of thoughts, my dear! Back in the day at the end of high school/beginning of college and was struggling with ED habits and thought patterns,I felt so alone and confused! But the only thing, the only one, who kept me sane and stayed truly by my side no matter how much I hurt Him, was God Himself. I’m just sharing that part because as I continued to grow closer to Him once again and prayed for accountability and friends that He wanted me to be around, He provided. :) I think that for me, prayer was the key to everything and it was the only thing that kept me going every morning. Luckily a lot of those friends remained in my life as I tried to reconnect with them, but it was definitely a process of WAITING because everything in my life just felt awkward! So I would say keep hanging onto God as you wait on Him, because He loves you and will provide everything you need. <333
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95 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Thank you, Ellie :) And you’re right… prayer has played such a huge role in my recovery so far, and I definitely have faith that this is all part of God’s plan for me.

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96 Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate June 4, 2013 at 4:13 pm

I love that you are open about the place that you are now, and all though it may take a little more waiting, I definitely don’t see it as wasting time, but rather embracing the process. It obviously took some damn impressive strength to go through recovery, and although aspects of the aftermath may not be ideal, that strength is going to be what keeps you going. So much love, girl!
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97 nicole June 4, 2013 at 4:22 pm

i definitely can relate. i feel like i’m in that slump right now, but only because it’s the summer and i wasn’t trying enough to find a summer job… i’ve been homebodying a lot and just wasting time until bedtime, only to repeat the day over again. i did have friends in high school, but i never let myself build those “friends forever!”-esque relationships because i always put school & homework first. it’s one of my biggest high school regrets. now i don’t want to go out because that often involves eating food at restaurants, and i’ve grown accustomed to and comfortable with making my own. kudos to this post, you’re a strong woman and i salute to you!
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98 Aly June 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Just what I needed to read today. Thanks Amanda, I can totally relate. It’s kinda like waking up from a coma of your former life. Anyways, I hope you have a lovely week :)

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99 Becky June 4, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Wow. I can relate to this 100%. I actually have been down too the past few weeks. I just ‘graduated’ from my IOP program for my ED, and now I’m down to once a week appointments and it’s weird having all this free time for myself, without my ED. I feel empty, bored, lost. Like you, I lost a huge chunk of my life due to the ED. It hit in the middle of college, and now that I’ve transferred back home (living with my parents), I don’t really have a group of friends my age that I can really identify with. I feel like everyone else has moved on and I’m stuck.
I don’t know if I can offer you any advice, since I’m sort of in the same conundrum here. But hopefully it helps you to know that you’re not alone. And from what I read on your blog, your days seem pleasant, meaningful, and a heck of a lot more interesting than mine right now! As my mom says, “This is just a phase of transition.” You’ll find your place eventually.

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100 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 6:48 pm

I hope it helps you to realize that you’re not alone as well, and that even though things might kind of stink at the moment, they really do get better :) Your mom is absolutely right, and that’s exactly what mine told me as well – it’s a phase. You kind of have to grit your teeth and bear it, but things gradually improve over time… even though sometimes they’re so subtle that you don’t even notice them.

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101 Sarah @ Feeeding the Brain and Body June 4, 2013 at 7:11 pm

You hit the nail right on the head my friend, I can completely relate to ‘starting’ life late. What really sucks is that I didn’t even get a chance to really find myself before getting thrown head over heals into insanely long work hours. No I leave the house at 8 and get home at 8 and have no mental energy to be social and actually live my life. I feel like if I had had the chance to find myself beforehand rather than being so caught up in food I wouldn’t feel so lost. I guess all I can do is trust, and keep chugging along. Part of me like is just like you said “waiting for a decent hour to strike so that I could finally go to sleep and put an end to the day”. Then there is the other part of me that doesn’t want to wake up and have to start the day again.

Wow, this seems like a really depressing comment, but on the bright side I am trying to trust the process!
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102 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Wow… those are definitely some crazy hours :? Is there any way you’re able to cut back at all?

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103 Alex @ therunwithin June 4, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Can I relate. Hell yes. More than you would know. Again, another post that is from my mind exactly
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104 Emily June 4, 2013 at 7:53 pm

I have no words.
I’m in tears because I feel like my life was just spilled out in a blog post that I didn’t even write. There are so many thoughts and feelings that I could never put into words and somehow you managed to do it flawlessly. Thank you- a million times- thank you.
You’re not alone. This transitioning phase is horrible but if we were able to overcome everything else, we can overcome this. It just takes time.
Sending love and hugs to you.
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105 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 9:58 pm

And sending love and hugs right back :)

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106 Hayley June 4, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Once again your post hit home hard for me. I am currently in the begging of recovery. I am so glad I finally reached out and got help. Thanks so much for posting this. I love your posts.
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107 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Wishing you all the best in your recovery, Hayley <3

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108 Miranda @ Miranda's Munchies June 4, 2013 at 9:15 pm

WOW! What a really well articulated post! I feel like I can totally relate; judging from the amount of comments I’m not the only one. While I’ve never had an ED, I’ve had periods of low in my life when I’ve had hardly any friends and not many interests – but only to be followed up by periods of high where I’ve had lots of friends and endless interests. I think one strategy to get to a high (or at least improve a low) is to pick something you enjoy and pursue it. I know you love to read, so why not join a book club at the library (and I’m not saying that just because I’m a librarian! EPL is really quite awesome) Regardless it’s nice to at least have the ability to connect over the internet :)

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109 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 10:09 pm

I’ve been meaning to get out there and join some kind of club for quite some time now, I just keep putting it off :? I really just need a good kick in the pants…

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110 Devon @ Health in Equilibrium June 4, 2013 at 9:27 pm

It has definitely been an adjustment to try to be “normal” again. I almost didn’t remember how to accept social invitations without making an excuse, to eat with friends without planning, counting and restricting or how to pick up friendships that I cast aside to make room for my restrictions. I think the thing that has helped the most is having supportive friends. I am lucky enough to have people in my life who still WANTED to hang out with me even after I was such a flake for so long. You will get there, and it will get easier along the way. Just open yourself up to the people you love and they will accept you with open arms :)
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111 Caitlin June 4, 2013 at 9:29 pm

I’m really proud of you for writing this, Amanda. I can only begin to imagine how hard it must be to almost rewire your entire life and daily routine after such harrowing years. I felt, and still do sometimes, almost the exact same way after I got help for depression and anxiety; it’s scary to have your identity so tied up in your disorder, that when you become more free of it, you’re not sure who you really are anymore. It seems like something a lot of people struggle with (just reading the comments gives me, and I hope you, a feeling of not being so alone), and with no particular solution.

Sometimes it seems that life develops when you’re not really paying attention if you know what I mean. That feeling of wishing for motivation or some sort of direction always seems out of reach when you’re conscious of the lack of it… Sorry I have no idea if this is making any sense! I’m going to have to be cheesy but sincere when I say that you are doing perfectly and wonderfully as you are, and no matter how you feel, it’s okay (more than okay) to be in whatever position you are in your life. I love reading your posts, and I hope that soon I’ll read one about the wait for everything you’re looking forward to being easier to handle. <3333 You've got so many friends here supporting you, and I KNOW that all of those good things will come to you soon. You're worth it all and more.

Love, Caitlin. xxx

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112 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 4, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Caitlin :) I definitely know what you mean when it comes to things just seeming to happen without me really paying attention or putting conscious effort towards changing things. A lot of my recovery has been that way so far, and I’m doing my best to embrace this period as well.

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113 Frances June 4, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Oh my god, I’m not alone.
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114 Jessie June 4, 2013 at 9:42 pm

I have an will always feel that everything we go through in life, whether it be something easy or something painful & hard, it makes us who we are today. Without making mistakes, or getting hooked onto a drug, alcohol, or in your case, an ED, would we really be strong enough to make it through those tough times? Probably not! You are beautiful, and your raw honesty is becoming pure inspiration to so many ladies <3
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115 Ashley @ AlmostVegGirlie June 4, 2013 at 10:45 pm

I can relate 100% to this. I feel like I didn’t really have the typical high school experience partly because my friend group since elementary school all drifted apart and also because the end of high school was when my ED was at its worst and I definitely isolated myself. I never went to any homecoming dance or prom, and while I don’t necessarily regret it, I do wish I’d opened myself up more. I kind of let it carry over into my first year of college, and living with a difficult roommate made my first year not as great as it could have been. I’m determined not to waste my 20s with ED crap, but it is hard to trust the process and let go of feelings and habits that have become son ingrained. I’m already scared for the near future, when I graduate college and move on to the ‘real world’ and I worry if the transition will trigger old feelings again and ruin my career and life dreams. So it’s definitely scary to be in this transitional period, and I know that with the honesty you’ve presented here and the inner strength I sense through all your posts, you will come out stronger on the other side!
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116 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 5, 2013 at 7:00 am

It’s definitely hard to let go of a lifestyle that’s become so ingrained in you… I think that’s actually part of my problem right now as well. I’ve gotten used to spending all my time either working or being alone, that doing anything outside of that feels awkward and strange. It wasn’t always that way, though, so I’m assuming it just takes a little getting used to.

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117 Sara @ Nourish and Flourish June 4, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Beautiful post, Amanda. Your words resonate with me on so many levels; I wish I could give you a big hug. <3 During recovery, I felt like a human shell whose heart had been hollowed. My passions – beyond food and exercise – were nowhere to be found; I'd lost my ability to laugh and be spontaneous; and I had no desire to travel (which was my greatest passion in life prior to my ED) because it meant leaving comfort of my routine and my favorite foods. Even though my life is much fuller now, I'm still overcome by feelings of emptiness from time to time. Sometimes I question if my desire to become a personal trainer and nutritionist is driven solely from my past, or whether it's my TRUE passion. However, I'm not sure whether I'll ever know. I firmly believe that everything that happens to us in life – every peak and valley…even the darkest valleys – happens for a reason. Our experiences shape us into who we are NOW, and the best we can do is embrace the current season of our lives, and let the future unfold as it's meant to. So I guess in that sense, those things truly are my passions, because they're what excite me at this point in my life. Maybe those passions will evolve and change, maybe they won't. I think the key for me is finding peace, happiness, and joy in the present. For me, that means spending more time with the people I love, treating my body right, exploring the world (even if just in my own city), and even stepping outside my comfort zone. It also means pursuing my career, which admittedly, I've been afraid to do. Reading this post and writing this response, made a light bulb go off – I think my former comforts -obsessions – with food and exercise have really held me back; they've prevented me from going after what I really want in life. While I've been home over the past month, out of the Washington DC rat race, I've had a lot more time to reflect, pray, and think about where I want to go next. I finally feel like I'm ready to take a big step outside my comfort zone, so that's what I'm about to do.

Sending you a huge hug! I really hope I get to meet you in September! <3 xoxo
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118 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 5, 2013 at 7:05 am

“Our experiences shape us into who we are NOW, and the best we can do is embrace the current season of our lives, and let the future unfold as it’s meant to.” <– That was so beautifully worded, Sara. Change is the only constant in life… There are things I love now that I used to dislike, and vice versa. We can never really be too sure if the choices we make are going to lead us to the be-all, end-all, but the older I get, the more I start to think that that kind of ultimate goal doesn’t exist… that it’s more about the journey than the destination; so the best we can do is just make the most of any given moment.

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119 Laura June 5, 2013 at 4:23 am

I lost most of my friends in highschool, except a select few who stuck by me. Once college came I started my first year with a strong desire to make friends and have fun and ENJOY college. But about a month in everything went downhill. Forget friends, I had the gym to spend my time with. But there was one girl who never gave up on me. She continued to text me, send me Facebook messages, and invite me places…even though I never went. She did this for TWO YEARS. Until finally I gave in to her kindness and accepted her friendship. I lived with her senior year and she introduced me to so many incredible people.

I guess what I’m saying is I know that you’re going through. I spent all of high school and most of college being by myself. Then I got home from college and there were no people in my vicinity who I could hang out with (I went out of state for college). But one piece of advice I can give to you is to reach out to people who you used to spend time with. Give them the opportunity to give YOU a second chance. Whether it’s old high school friends, work friends, even people who were more “acquaintances” in college than friends. I say…just try.
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120 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 5, 2013 at 9:15 am

That’s a good piece of advice – thanks, Laura. I’ve often thought about reaching back out to people, but then I start feeling all awkward about it because of how much time has passed and what not. I don’t exactly know if “heyyyyyy, I know it’s been a while, but wanna do coffee?” is a good approach :lol:

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121 Cara June 5, 2013 at 6:29 am

Being in an inpatient program, not only do they encourage things like knitting and craft as distraction techniques but I’ve found it also opens you up again to trying new things or taking up old hobbies. Coz, I feel very much the same in that my ED robbed me of so many of my interestes and passions… but you know what – I went and played my flute for the first time in 2 years the other day and I’m going to keep practicing because it was/is something I love and being obsessed with unhealthy ED behaviors robbed me of this passion.

My advice is just to try anything! You don’t necessarily have to got out, you could buy a cross stitch or just do a finger painting (that’s my plan on Monday), try anything that might spark that passion again- by trying new things even if you don’t like them, it just seems to help you recognise that you did have other interests before your ED took over and can again.

Cara :)

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122 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 5, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Great advice, Cara! I used to love being crafty and I’m pretty sure that I still do – every time I walk into a place like Michaels, I feel like a kid in a candy store :D

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123 Krista @ Tiny n Fit June 5, 2013 at 6:36 am

I have definitely been in your shoes. For months after my dad took his own life in 2009, I was in emotional limbo. So much of my life turned into pre-dads-padding and post-dads-passing. Where do I go from here? What will my future be like now? I had so much to look forward to with my dad-graduating grad school, work promotions, marriage, kids. So many things he was supposed to be there to share. What now? I struggled with trying to find happiness again, and when I did, I felt guilty for not being in constant grief. I lost a few friends that couldn’t understand what I was going through, and I pushed some away so I wouldn’t constantly bombard them with my emotional roller coaster. It was a lonely time and something I still struggle with time to time. I think only time helped (so cliche!) with learning how to balance finding happiness again with grief, a struggle I still am learning to juggle today! I’d say my best advice is to keep treating yourself with kindness and love, enjoy every moment life has to offer, and spend lots of time with those you love.
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124 Victoria @ Reluctantly Skinny June 5, 2013 at 9:12 am

being stuck in limbo is hard – my fiance and I feel this way sometimes (well, a lot!) transitioning out of the military was rough and he still hasn’t found a job that he likes and can picture doing as a career…but there’s always things to pay for, like a wedding, a house…it’s frustrating to feel stuck and not be able to do anything to help him. but, like you said, staying positive is key. knowing that you’re working towards something bigger and better than will drastically improve your life and make you happier in the long run is worth the time and effort. i’m glad you’re in a good place with recovery and you can spread the message of just keeping positive =)
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125 Barbara June 5, 2013 at 11:43 am

I definitely relate to all of this! I literally was in the exact same place…where I lost most of my high school friends and then never made new ones in college. Now, being done with college and finally in the final stages of recovery..I find myself crying and getting so upset because it is still so hard for me to feel “normal”. A lot of times I am uncomfortable and have to push myself to get out there and do things, and honestly lately I have really been having a hard time feeling like I am stuck and everyone else is out there getting marries, having kids, going to grad school, doing brunch with huge groups of people and so on…but at the end of the day I guess I really have to trust the process and hope that with time things will keep getting normal. I know that ever since I have given up ED things have seemed to fallen in place and granted there are still a lot of tough things to deal with, they are things that everyone deals with..aka break ups, fights with parents, drama with friends…but i do realize that is just life and I have to get used to processing my emotions and dealing with all the things I blocked out for so long! Instead of using food as an escape I have to face things head on and deal with the consequences of my actions over the past 4.5 years. Thank you for posting this and showing I am not alone. I guess we just have to keep on struggling on and working on ourselves each and every day..I know it will get easier and life always has a way of working out!

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126 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 5, 2013 at 12:06 pm

It definitely does have a way of working out, doesn’t it? One of the things that helps me stay hopeful is the fact that things seem to improve without me even putting too much conscious effort into trying to make them better. Does that make sense? Like, whether I’m paying attention or not, life just happens, and wherever I am feels like where I’m supposed to be. It’s a comforting thought :)

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127 Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! June 6, 2013 at 11:57 am

Wow, thank you for opening up about this. I know it takes a ton of strength to do so, and I really admire you for it. This particular issue really strikes a chord with me- I feel like I’ve spent most of my adult life in limbo. I never really settled into an adult life before various stressors and things took over. Now, I’m not writing this to get a pity comment, just to share a slightly different take on this.

This kind of thing doesn’t exclusively apply to recovery, as I feel like there are those of us out there who had never really learned how to live a “normal life” – for one reason or another. In that case, it may not be a process, and it may not be something that will just *happen*. In these kinds of cases, there’s no shame in asking for help and pushing yourself. In fact, we might need to. If we’re used to being alone and in the ‘safe zone’ for quite some time, we may not remember how to break out. It may not be something that will just happen, and there’s no harm done in being proactive. Just like you put yourself out there on the blog, what’s the worst that could happen by putting yourself out there in the real world? You won’t get anywhere if you don’t start walking :-).

I know I need to take my own advice here, and I know how hard those first few steps are. It won’t be easy, but eventually it will be worth it. <3 Hope this helps!

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128 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 6, 2013 at 3:43 pm

You’re right, Rachel – it probably requires a good amount of pushing [ourselves] out of our comfort zones, which is never easy at first. But the thing I’m having the most trouble with is figuring out how much of it is just -me-, you know? Like I’ve always enjoyed spending quiet time alone, so I think a good chunk of the way I am now is just who I am, and I’m generally happy with it. It’s just working out all the finer details that can be a little bit difficult.

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129 kris June 7, 2013 at 12:05 am

Wow, Amanda, this is an amazing post!
I’m most definitely not at the place where i want to be at in my life nor do I have all the things going on that I thought would be. I’d like to think that patience is key and that good things eventually come to those who wait. People always say that your 20s are and should be the best years of your life and sometimes I just feel like its not for me. I know being proactive is also plays a big part in taking our life in the direction you want it to go. I mean, look at how far you’ve come! And continuing to look at the positive, I’d say that one of your passions is blogging and you most definitely have a ton of friends here supporting your 100% :) It may be a slow process, but it’s happening!

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130 Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli June 10, 2013 at 2:13 am

I feel like I’ve been in limbo for the past three years and right now, I feel like I’m at the worst part of it. I keep telling myself that if I just push harder, I will come out on the other side of things and finally be able to look at this part of my life as the time where I finally found/figured out/learned to love myself, but man, this shit is hard! What I hate is that I thought when I was younger that my twenties were going to be some great party…I never realized it would just be a more drawn out version of my teenage years. Gah, how long do we have to live before we can make peace with ourselves and feel like we have a purpose?
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131 Jill June 10, 2013 at 6:33 am

Amanda, I’m almost 32 years old and my life has been limbo for the last 5 years. You’ve done in one year what I still haven’t done in 5 or 6.

I had an epic binge on Saturday and at 10 pm I ate an 85 gram of popchips (the whole bag) plus one giant tub of yogurt, a container of hummus, and 4 cups of grapes. I didn’t even want it or taste it or chew it. I just felt like I “had” to do it. If I could poop or exercise, I’d get over it. But since I can’t I’m actually literally poisoning my body. I’m trying to find a solid meal plan now to make peace with food and have found a potential 3. Email me if you are willing to listen about them or know blogger nutritinists that can “put me back together” again. I can’t live like this anymore. I just can’t.

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132 Ben Marsh June 10, 2013 at 2:29 pm

I don’t know whether this has been suggested before but maybe if you write about your experiences in a book that would assist fellow sufferers of ED and introduce you to a wider voice in the world.
Just a thought as your musings seem to touch a lot of people’s hearts….
Thank you,
Ben.

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133 Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets June 11, 2013 at 7:43 am

What an open and honest post. I really enjoyed it, and I understand about the waiting game. I’ve never been great at being patient, and I believe you have to make things happen for yourself. It’s hard, but you’re really the only one who can actually do it.
While I can’t relate to having an ED, I always respect your frankness and honesty about the subject, and I do understand feelings of being stuck and sometimes a little bit alone, despite being surrounding by people. Most of my friends, those who actually live in the same state as me, don’t share my passion for fresh local food and fitness (quite the opposite really) so I turned to blogging and even there I’m starting to feel out of place, as you know from my post last week.
Reading posts like this one remind me why I’m still in this little community though. It was very touching and inspiring, so thank you. Also, I’m sure good things are on the horizon for you…much like those lovely flowers suggests.
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134 Albizia June 14, 2013 at 1:16 am

:(

Truth be told, my social life had started going downhill much before I decided to go on an endless diet. I’ve never been a social butterfly. However, after a certain point of developing that new obsession, it just hit rock bottom. I tried to push away the few people who still wanted to be friends with me and completely ignore the existence of everybody else who was distracting me from my goal. A few years later I’m still in school at the other end of the world and get my daily dose of regret every time I open facebook and see a new dose of “xxx got engaged to yyy”, a truckload of wedding pictures or a picture of the proud parents with their newborn child. People simply built their careers, families and future while I was too busy destroying my life. I wish I could say I don’t regret it but I do. Yes, it might have made me a better person in a way but I am 26 and I am just starting to dream about my own life. I’m so much behind and still stuck here because of a decision I made in an attempt to run away from the mess I had created back at home. It kinda makes me feel less of a loser knowing that a lot of people are in the same situation, trying to get back what they carelessly threw away, but it’s still a little frustrating. Finally full of energy and ready to live and there is nothing left of the life you used to have…

I guess I can’t really say anything positive on this topic so I’ll just shut up and hope that in a few years we’ll all have the life we always wanted.
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135 Sara @my less serious life June 22, 2013 at 11:15 am

i’m in limbo, too. sometimes being in limbo is the hardest, yet most revealing parts of our lives. you are strong.
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